For whatever reason, Bill Gothard, the 80-year-old life-long bachelor who founded the Duggars’ fundamentalist homeschool curriculum, decided that now would be a great time to put up his first Facebook post in almost two years. And since the post went live Wednesday evening, his page has been deleting allegation after allegation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
Gothard was forced to step down as president of the Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP) in 2014 after the website Recovering Grace began publishing former members’ accounts of the alleged systematic sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Gothard. In total, at least 34 women had previously come forward with claims of sexual harassment. Here’s what he wrote Wednesday night:
This isn’t Gothard’s first sign of life since resigning entirely, though. Just this past June, Gothard updated his website with a statement that he then immediately deleted. But this time, it looks like its former members’ remarks—or comments from over 60 Facebook accounts—that are being quickly deleted, while comments in support of Gothard remain. We’ve received screenshots of the since-deleted comments and allegations, all of which have been marked in red below:
In the past, while Gothard has acknowledged that his behavior with some “selected” young women “crossed the boundaries of discretion and [was] wrong,” he also maintains that he has not “touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.”
Update 5:55 pm: